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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Praying for God's mercy

When we have prayed, spoken, acted for peace—and our country goes to war, we can become confused and angry, discouraged and hopeless. We might begin to believe that God didn’t hear our prayers or has abandoned us. We may be tempted to stop praying, to turn away from a vision of a just and peaceful world.

But as people of faith, we are called to embrace the world with love and prayers for all hurting people: our neighbors who hold different opinions and positions from ours; our leaders who may have made decisions with which we disagree; the men and women of our armed forces; and the people around the world most affected by bombs and battles. In times like these we must pray boldly and passionately and put our trust in God’s mercy.

We often equate mercy with the word and experience of pity. But the true meaning of “mercy” lies in the original Semitic word chesed, which actually describes an unconditional bond of love—a fierce and passionate relationship, an unbreakable connection.


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